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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Cookies/Cake/Pastry

PRODUCT: Seminole Pride & Blood Orange Meringue Pie

A Great Juice Story

Deprived of their original resources, many Native American tribes have fallen into unfortunate circumstances, struggling economically and facing the ills that come with hardship.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, through the careful leadership of their elders, managed to overcome such bleak circumstances. The Tribe became self-sufficient through economic development enterprises located on six reservations throughout the State of Florida, one of which is citrus farming.

Economic success has enabled them to reach out to help struggling Native Nations as well as local communities, through product donations, financial contributions and sponsorships.

Earlier this year, the Tribe teamed with the Roe family, fourth generation distributors and growers of the Noble brand of fruits and juices, to launch a new brand, Seminole Pride Noble. The line includes natural and organic juices in apple, blood orange, grapefruit, lemonade, orange, orange tangerine, red grapefruit, tangerine and tangerine clementine.

The operation is committed to sustainable citrus farming and to the environment in general; even the bottles used are 100% sustainable and are made at the juicing facility, keeping the total business carbon footprint environmentally friendly.

   

seminole-pride-aka-noble-blood-orange-juice-230

One of 10 Seminole Pride juices. Photo courtesy Noble Juice.

 

Look for the juices (here’s a store locator), and check out the delicious recipes on the website. A little bit of juice perks up the flavor in everything from salads and slaws to meats and sautéed veggies.

 

blood-orange-meringue-pie-noblejuice-230

A tempting blood orange meringue pie, made
with Seminole Pride Noble blood orange
juice. Photo courtesy Noble Juice.

 

RECIPE: BLOOD ORANGE MERINGUE PIE

You don’t even have to squeeze oranges to make this splendid pie. Just buy the blood orange juice! Prep time 30 minutes plus chilling, bake time 10 minutes plus cooling.

Instead of a standard pie crust, we used this graham cracker crust recipe from Key lime pie.

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup blood orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 9” pie crust, baked from scratch (or to package directions) and cooled
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. MAKE the meringue: In a stand mixer or large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add 6 tablespoons sugar gradually and continue to whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

    3. MAKE the filling: In a saucepan, whisk together the remaining cup of sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in water and blood orange juice, making sure to eliminate any lumps. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter and whisk until melted. Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding ¼ cup of the hot filling mixture to the egg yokes, whisking to combine. Whisk egg yolk mixture into filling mixture. Continue whisking mixture until thick. Remove from heat and pour into cooled pie shell.

    Cover filling with meringue, making sure to seal the edges.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

     
    More about blood oranges.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Blackberry Macarons

    Here’s another delicious blackberry recipe: Chocolate Blackberry Macarons. Blackberry, a summer fruit, is a nice change from the chocolate or raspberry fillings often found in macarons.

    The recipe was developed by blogger Naomi Robinson of Bakers Royal, and contributed to Driscoll’s recipes. Visit Naomi’s blog for more delicious recipes.

    Prep time is 30 minutes, cook time is 15 to 17 minutes, plus cooling time.

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BLACKBERRY MACARONS

    Ingredients For 24-30 Macarons

    For The Chocolate Macarons

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups plus 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups plus ¼ cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  •  
    For The Blackberry Filling

  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) blackberries, puréed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  •    

    chocolate-blackberry-macarons-driscolls-230

    A summer flavor for macaron lovers. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

     

    http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-blackberries-basket-image26804436

    Sweet summer blackberries. Photo ©
    Pretoperola | Dreamstime.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 330°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    2. TRACE out 1 inch circles on parchment and set this aside as a “master copy.” Reserve two extra sheets of parchment and set aside.

    3. PLACE egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and fit mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium low speed until egg whites start to form loose, translucent bubbles.

    4. INCREASE mixer speed to medium and beat until meringue turns foamy and white and starts to resemble well-lathered shampoo, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer to high and beat until meringue holds glossy stiff peaks, about another 2-3 minutes. Turn off mixer.

    5. PROCESS almond meal, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor and then sift. Add these dry ingredients to the meringue. Using a sturdy spatula fold and smash dry mixture into meringue against the bowl for about 20-25 folds.

    Don’t worry about being gentle; the idea is to knock the air out. The batter should hold its shape when spooned on itself and start to slowly flatten out after about 15-20 seconds. Start checking the batter after 20 folds for readiness. Transfer batter to pastry bag and let rest for 20 minutes before piping.

     

    6. PLACE the master copy of the drawn circles on a baking sheet and then place a sheet of parchment on top. Fill a pastry bag with batter and pipe until the batter reaches edge of circle. Remove the master copy from underneath the piped layer. Place it on a second baking sheet and pipe the remaining batter. Remove the master copy and save for future use.

    7. GIVE each pan a quick hard tap against the counter, turn the pan 90 degrees and give it another quick hard tap. This will deflate any bubbles and prevent cracked shells.

    8. BAKE for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave meringue shells to cool completely on the pan. Shells will cleanly peel away from the parchment when ready.

    9. MAKE the blackberry filling. Place water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar is melted. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool, 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, sprinkle gelatin on top and leave untouched for 1-2 minutes for the gelatin to bloom.

    10. RETURN the pan to the stove top and over low heat stir the mixture until the gelatin bloom melts and mixture resembles the consistency of maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir the gelatin mixture into the blackberry purée. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 10-15 minutes or until the filling becomes thick and slightly sets.

    11. ASSEMBLE the meringues. Pipe the filling onto one shell, place a second shell on top and repeat.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Rubik’s Battenberg Cake

    rubiks_battenburg_cake-stasty-230

    Eat the Rubik’s Cube! Photo courtesy
    Stasty.com.

      For those who loved the Mondrian Cake, here’s a another piece of edible art, which celebrates the birthday of Erno Rubik.

    Rubik, born July 13, 1944, is a Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture. But his immortality lies in the 1974 invention of the Rubik’s Cube, one of the mechanical puzzles he loved to create.

    Today he is focusing on video game development and architectural topics, and is still leading Rubik Stúdió in Hungary.

    His Wikipedia bio says that “He is known to be an introvert, barely accessible and hard to contact or to get hold of for autographs.”

    However, just two days after this recipe was posted (on his birthday in 2011) on Stasty.com, Vicky, the blog author and cake creator, received an email from Rubik himself saying that he liked her cake:

    “Thanks for the nice birthday surprise which sweetens the bitterness of passing time.” “I guess the world is really a very small place,” Vicky notes.

     

    WHAT IS A BATTENBERG CAKE?

    The Battenberg cake was created to celebrate the 1884 marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Alice, to Prince Louis of Battenberg.

    It is constructed of rectangular pieces of alternatively colored Victoria sponge cake, sandwiched together by jam and held together with walls of marzipan. The construction creates a checkerboard effect.

    Vicky and her co-baker friend decided that different pieces of cake could by tinted the traditional six colors of the Rubik’s cube: blue, green, orange, red, yellow and white. They also used three different cake flavors, deciding that six would create too many conflicting tastes.

    Then, to make the cake “work” like a Rubik’s Cube, they decided to have each slice of the cake reveal a different combination of colored squares. Read the original article to see how they engineered this.

    If you’re as adventurous as Vicki (and Erno Rubik), bake the recipe. It will thrill on anyone’s birthday—not just Rubik’s.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Shortcake

    peach-shortcake-kraft-230

    Easy peach shortcake: Slice fruit, top a
    biscuit half, add whipped cream. Photo
    courtesy Kraft.

     

    Sweet summer berries and stone fruits beg to be turned into shortcake. It requires only three ingredients: the fruit of choice, whipped cream and the biscuit or other base.

    In the good old days in the U.S., strawberry shortcake parties were held as celebrations of the summer fruit harvest. This tradition is still observed in some parts of the country on June 14th, which is Strawberry Shortcake Day.

    The original shortcake concept, from the U.K., uses a slightly sweetened baking soda or baking powder biscuit or scone. Split in half, the base is piled with fruit and whipped cream, then topped with the other half, often with more fruit and whipped cream on top.

    And just to confirm: Shortcake isn’t cake. It’s a dry biscuit in the American sense: a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda.

    As the concept evolved, the biscuit was replace by everything from sponge cakes to corn muffins. Modern cookies are also switching out the whipped cream.

     
    If you don’t have to bake the biscuits, this is a pretty easy recipe to assemble. There’s a shortcake biscuit recipe below, but other choices include:
     
    For The Biscuit

  • Angel food cake
  • Brioche, lightly toasted (orange brioche is even better)
  • Buttermilk refrigerator biscuits (sprinkle with sugar before baking)
  • Muffin or un-iced cupcake
  • Pound cake
  • Sponge cake (some stores carry individual sponge cakes, four-inch circles with a well for the fruit)
  • Sweet rolls, lightly toasted with a sprinkle of sugar (look for King’s Hawaiian)
  • Yellow cake
  •  

    For The Whipped Cream

  • Crème fraîche (buy it or make it with this recipe)
  • Flavored whipped cream—lavender or spice, for example (recipes)
  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt
  • Mascarpone (you can make your own with this recipe)
  •  
    We intentionally omitted Cool Whip imitation whipped cream. Many people love it, but we can’t get past the ingredients, which include hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup.

     

    SHORTCAKE BISCUITS

    Shortcake biscuits add a bit of sugar to a conventional biscuit recipe.

    Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Grease a cookie sheet.

    2. SIFT the dry ingredients together. Beat 2 eggs with milk and set aside.

    3. MIX 3/4 cup shortening with the dry ingredients. Add the milk and eggs and knead on a board for a few minutes.

     

    Mango-Shortcake-mangoboard-230

    Think outside the biscuit: Make mango shortcake. Here, mango ice cream replaces the traditional whipped cream. Photo courtesy The Mango Board.

     

    4. ROLL the dough out 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a round cookie cutter and bake 10 to 15 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Cool on a rack.

    5. ASSEMBLE: Cut biscuits in half. Spoon some of the fruit and any juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with whipped cream and add the shortcake top (you can serve the shortcake open face if you prefer). Spoon more fruit over the top and serve.
     
    SHORTCAKE HISTORY

    Though today’s shortcakes are usually of the biscuit or sponge cake variety, earlier American recipes called for pie crust in rounds or broken-up pieces—a recipe that can still be found in the South.

    The first strawberry shortcake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in 1588. By 1850, strawberry shortcake was being dessert served hot, with butter and sweetened cream. Around 1910, French pastry chefs replaced that topping with heavy whipped cream. [Source: Wikipedia]
     
    MORE SHORTCAKE RECIPES

  • Cupcake Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
  • Red, White & Blue Shortcake Recipe
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Pamela’s Figgies & Jammies

    It you like Fig Newtons—or wish you liked them more—there’s a better “Newton” in town.

    It’s called Figgies & Jammies and the cookies are from Pamela’s Products, maker of delicious gluten-free cookies, bars and mixes. The flavors include:

  • Mission Fig
  • Blueberry & Fig
  • Raspberry & Fig
  • Strawberry & Fig
  •  
    Filled with real Mission figs and complementary fruits, this gluten-free version of the traditional fig cookie is so delicious, even people who don’t prefer gluten-free foods will prefer them.

    The pie-like cookie portion is more tender, the fruit flavors are brighter. The size is a bit larger than Fig Newtons.

    The cookies are not just gluten free, but egg free, low in sodium and all natural. There are no hydrogenated oils or trans fats, no cholesterol, no corn syrup.

    The line is certified gluten-free by GFCO and certified kosher (dairy) by OU (the hechsher is hidden under the fold of the seam).

       

    fig-newtons-pamelasfiggiesjammies-kalviste-230

    Yes, they’re better than Fig Newtons. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    You can find a store locator on the company website, or buy them online from Pamela’s.

     

    4-packages-2-230r

    Four figalicious flavors. Photo by Elvira
    Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    WHY A “NEWTON¿”

    The Fig Newton was named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts. It was the custom of the original manufacturer, Kennedy Biscuit Works of Cambridgeport (now Cambridge, Massachusetts), to name cookies after towns in the Boston area.

    Kennedy Biscuit Works was affiliated with the New York Biscuit Company, which became part of the company now known as Nabisco. According to Nabisco, the cookie was invented in 1891 by a Philadelphian, James Henry Mitchell, who created the duplex dough-sheeting machines and funnels that made the jam-filled cookies possible. He thought of the soft dough with fruit filling as cookie “pies.”

    The machine was patented in 1892, and Mitchell approached the Kennedy Biscuit Company to try it out. They were impressed—all that was needed was a name. Newton, Massachusetts got the honor. Just think: We could have Fig Lexingtons or Fig Concords instead.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Fanciful Sweet Or Savory Pockets

    Here’s an easy way to add fun to everyday or special occasion fare. This Pocket Maker set from Kuhn Rikon lets you creating “pocket meals.”

    Each of the three fun shapes is 3.5 inches in diameter, and stamps out the dough to make mini pies, pizza pockets, filled dumplings and more.

    Just press the stamp to cut the dough, fill and press down on the lever to crimp the pocket edges together. Any dough works (think pasta dough, phyllo dough, pie dough, pizza dough), or use sandwich bread or tortillas.

    The Pocket Makers create savory or sweet fun foods, from spicy chicken empanadas for a first or main course to individual apple pies for dessert. Our favorite idea: jumbo ravioli.

       

    kuhn-rikon-pocket-maker-set-230

    An easy way to make fun food. Photo courtesy Kuhn Rikon.

     

    kuhn-rikon-pocket-maker-stuffed-pockets-230

    Stamp, fill, bake and serve. Photo courtesy
    Kuhn Rikon.

     

    Each set includes three red pocket makers in flower, heart and round shapes, plus a recipe book filled with tasty ideas for every day and special occasions.

    This gadget set could be just the thing to coax a young person into baking…or give new inspiration to a seasoned baker.

    Pocket Makers are constructed of BPA-free plastic stamps are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

    The Kuhn Rikon Pocket Maker Set has a suggested retail price of $16 and is available at Amazon.com and Sur La Table stores.

    Discover more delightful products at KuhnRikon.com.

     

      

    Comments

    JULY 4TH FOOD FUN: American Flag Cookies

    We love food “craft projects.” Here, turn graham crackers into flag cookies with this fun family recipe from Pillsbury. In fact, as part of your Fourth of July celebration, let your kids make this easy snack craft.

    Prep time is just five minutes.

    RECIPE: AMERICAN FLAG COOKIES

    Ingredients

  • 1 double graham cracker (5 x 2-1/2 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon fluffy white frosting
  • 1/2 roll strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups or other red fruit leather
  • 4 Fruit Gushers blue fruit flavored snacks or fresh blueberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SPREAD one side of graham cracker with frosting.

     

    A food craft project for kids. Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

     
    2. UNROLL Fruit Roll-Ups; remove paper. With kitchen scissors, cut 4 strips from fruit flavored snack, 5 x 1/4 inch each.
     
    3. ARRANGE strips on frosted cracker to form 4 evenly spaced horizontal strips. Arrange Fruit Gushers or blueberries in the left top corner for stars on the flag.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cookie Cutter Gift

    If you need a special house gift for a summer host, consider baking cookies in special shapes. Or, bring the cookie cutters as gifts, along with pre-measured ingredients, as an activity gift.

    Most people who bake have cookie cutter circles, flowers and hearts, and perhaps some holiday shapes. But with more than 15,000 listings on Amazon.com, you can find something personal for your friends and family.

    For Families With Children

  • Dinosaurs
  • Farm animals
  •  
    For People With Beach Houses

  • Beachware
  • Marine life
  •  
    For Sports Enthusiasts

  • Golf clubs
  • Horses
  •  

    sea-creature-cookie-garnish-wilton

    Cookies on sticks, cookies in cakes. Photo courtesy Wilton.

     

    Just decide on your hosts’ recreational interests, and find a cookie cutter to match it.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4th: American Flag Cake

    A tasty flag! Photo courtesy SecretLifeOfAChefsWife.com.

     

    What a great dessert surprise for July 4th!

    This flag cake originated on 17andBak­ing.com, and was reposted on SecretLifeOfAChefsWife.com.

    Elissa, who posted the recipe at age 17 (she’s now 21), said at the time:

    “While I wish I could claim credit for it, the idea of a flag cake was completely my father’s. It was all a bit of an experiment and when I finally cut the cake open, revealing the familiar red white and blue, I was so surprised to see that it worked.”

    You can use any recipe for a three layer white cake. Elissa deliberately made the cake completely white on the outside, with a cream cheese frosting flavored with lime zest. Cutting into a plain cake makes the flag motif an even bigger surprise.

    Are you dying to make it? Here’s the recipe.

     

     
      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Protein Bakery, Delicious Bites With Extra Protein

    “Fitness is my business, baking is my passion,” says Stephen Charles Lincoln, a fitness instructor who enjoys a good brownie and cookie.

    Way back in 1999, he created the Protein Bakery to bake goodies amped up with whey protein, undetectable to the palate.

    We only heard about it recently, but we’re thrilled with the result: delicious cookies, brownies and blondies that deliver six grams of protein per serving. With classic good cookie and brownie flavor, you’d never know you’re getting a nutritional boost.

    The products are baked without wheat flour and include better-for-you ingredients like rolled oats, light brown sugar, peanut butter, cranberries, toasted walnuts and unsweetened coconut. Baked daily in small batches, the sweet treats are all natural, trans-fat free and preservative free.

    The recipes are gluten free, but the brownies and cookies are baked in a facility that uses gluten in other products. The line is certified kosher by KOF-K.

    There is sugar, of course; and the calorie count is the same as most products from artisan bakeries. The differentiation is that instead of empty calories, you get a nice hit of protein with each bite.

    Everything is available shrink-wrapped for home purchase and in tins for gifting. There’s an assortment for everybody.

    And there’s no need to tell kids that the extra protein is good for them.

       

    chocolate-chocolate-chip-stack-230

    Chocolate chocolate chip cookies, packed with protein. Photo courtesy Protein Bakery.

     

     

    pb-brownie-230

    The Peanut Butter Lover’s Gift Set combines
    PB blondies, brownies (shown) and cookies.
    Photo courtesy Protein Bakery.

     

    Blondies: Mini & Full Size

  • Black & White Blondie
  • Coconut Walnut Dark Chocolate Chip Blondie
  • Lemon White Chocolate Chip Blondie
  • Peanut Butter Blondie
  •  
    Brownies: Mini & Full Size

  • Black & White Brownie
  • Chocolate Chip Brownie
  • Peanut Butter Brownie
  •  
    Brownies: Mini & Full Size

  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Chocolate Chocolate White Chip Cookie
  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie
  • Peanut Butter Cookie
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  •  

    Order yours at ProteinBakery.com.

      

    Comments

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